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SANTA CLARA – The 49ers are taking the cautious approach with veteran safety Antoine Bethea, who sustained a concussion on Sunday against the Denver Broncos.
Bethea likely would pass the NFL protocol for concussions and be medically cleared to play Sunday against the San Diego Chargers, but coach Jim Harbaugh said the team can be expected to hold him out of action.
“I think that’s likely he would be cleared to play Sunday, but I don’t think we’re going to play him Sunday,” Harbaugh said on Friday.
Bethea probably will not see any game action until the regular-season opener on Sept. 7 at the Dallas Cowboys. Bethea, who played his first eight NFL seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, has the longest current streak among NFL safeties with 96 consecutive games started.
Bethea sustained a concussion on a blind-side block from Denver rookie receiver Cody Latimer in the second quarter of Sunday’s game.